Picture of O.C. Minton Hall

William A. Overholt, Ph.D.

Professor of Entomology
Department of Entomology and Nematology

Expertise: Biological Control of Invasive Plants
Contact Information: Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory
2199 South Rock Road
Fort Pierce, Florida 34945-3138
(772) 468-3922 ext. 143
billover@ufl.edu bcrcl.ifas.ufl.edu/people.shtml

Appointment: 70% Research, 30% Extension
Education: Ph.D., 1989, Entomology, Texas A&M University B.S., 1977, Agriculture, Ohio State University
Details: Bill Overholt joined the IRREC faculty in 2002. He has extensive international experience including 2 years in Peace Corps working with the Senegalese Plant Protection Service, 4 years in Mauritania with USAID, and 12 years at the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. The focus of Bill’s research program is biological control of invasive plants. His current work is focussed on Brazilian peppertree, Hydrilla verticillata, tropical soda apple and Phragmites australis, and involves foreign exploration, host range studies, and field release and evaluation of a biological control agents. Bill also conducts extension activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the the problems associated with invasive plants, and the application of biological control as a tool for their management.

Selected Publications: Copeland, R. S., E. Nkubaye, B. Nzigidahera, J. H. Epler, J. P. Cuda and W. A. Overholt. 2012. The diversity of Chironomidae (Diptera) associated with Hydrilla verticillata (Alismatales: Hydrocharitaceae) and other aquatic macrophytes in Lake Tanganyika, Burundi. Annals of the Entomological Society of America (in press).

Cuda, J. P., L. R. Christ, V. Manrique, W. A. Overholt, G. S. Wheeler and D. A. Williams. 2012. Role of molecular genetics in identifying ‘?ne tuned’ natural enemies of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius: a review. Biocontrol DOI 10.1007/s10526-011-9418-y

Manrique, V., R. Diaz, M. G. Pogue, M. D. Vitorino and W. A. Overholt. 2012. Description and biology of Paectes longiformis Pogue (Lepidoptera: Euteliidae), a new species from Brazil and potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida. Biocontrol Science and Technology (in press).

Manrique, V., R. Diaz, and W. A. Overholt. 2012. Temperature-dependent development, diapause and cold tolerance of Gratiana graminea (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of Solanum viarum in Florida. Annals of the Entomological Society of America (in press).

Mukherjee, A., D. A. Williams, G. S. Wheeler, J. P. Cuda, S. Pal and W. A. Overholt. 2012 Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) in Florida and South America: Evidence of a possible niche shift driven by hybridization. Biological Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-011-0168-7(PDF)

Overholt, W. A., J. P. Cuda and L. Markle. 2012. Can novel weapons favor native plants? Allelopathic interactions between Morella cerifera (L.) and Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society (in press).

Wanda, F., B. Gidudu, S. Wandera, R. S. Copeland, J. P. Cuda and W. A. Overholt. 2012. Herbivory of Hydrilla verticillata by cichlid fish in Lake Bisina, Uganda. Journal of East African Natural History (in press).

Burckhardt, D., J. P. Cuda, V. Manrique, R. Diaz, , W. A. Overholt, D. A. Williams, L. R. Christ and M. D. Vitorino. 2011. Calophya latiforceps, a new species of jumping plant lice (Hemiptera: Calophyidae) associated with Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae) in Brazil. Florida Entomologist 94: 489-499.

Copeland, R. S., E. Nkubaye, B. Nzigidahera, J. P. Cuda and W. A. Overholt. 2011. The African burrowing mayfly, Povilla adusta (Ephemeroptera: Polymitarcyidae), damages Hydrilla verticillata (Alismatales: Hydrocharitaceae) in Lake Tanganyika. Florida Entomologist 94 (669-676).

Croxton, M., M. Andreu, D. Williams, W. Overholt, and J. Smith. 2011. Source and diversity of air-potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) in Florida. Invasive Plant Science and Management 4: 22-30.

De Groote, H., W. A. Overholt, J. O. Ouma and J. Wanyama. 2011. Assessing the potential economic impact of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize in Kenya. African Journal of Biotechnology 10: 4741-4751.

Diaz, R., W. A. Overholt, D. Hahn and A. C. Samayoa. 2011. Diapause induction in Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of tropical soda apple in Florida. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104:1319-1326.

Diaz, R., C. Aguirre, G. Wheeler, S. Lapointe, E. Rosskopf and W. A. Overholt. 2011. Differential performance of tropical soda apple and its biological control agent Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in open and shaded habitats. Environmental Entomology 40: 1437-1447.

Gidudu, B., R.S. Copeland, F. Wanda, H. Ochaya, and W.A. Overholt. 2011. Distribution, interspecific associations and abundance of aquatic plants in Lake Bisina, Uganda. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 49 (19-27).

Manrique, V., Diaz, R., Hight, S. D. and W. A. Overholt. 2011. Evaluation of mortality factors using life table analysis of Gratiana boliviana, a biological control agent of tropical soda apple in Florida. Biological Control 59: 354-360.

Manrique, V. R. Diaz, J. P. Cuda, and W. A. Overholt. 2011. Suitability of a New Invader as a Target for Biological Control in Florida Invasive Plant Science and Management. Invasive Plant Science and Management 4: 1-10.

Medal, J., N. Bustamante, E. Bredow, H. Pedrosa, W. Overholt, R. Díaz and J. Cuda. 2011. Host Specificity of Anthonomus tenebrosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), A Potential Biological Control Agent of Tropical Soda Apple (Solanaceae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist, 94: 214-225.

Mukherjee, A., M. C. Christman, W. A. Overholt and J. P. Cuda. 2011. Prioritizing areas in the native range of hygrophila for surveys to collect biological control agents. Biological Control 56: 254-262.

Reddy, R., V. Manrique, R. Diaz, and W.A. Overholt. 2010. Diapause termination of Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) using a juvenile hormone analog, and implications for biological control of tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum, Solanaceae). Biocontrol Science and Technology 20: 997-2000.

Overholt, W.A., R. Diaz, L. Markle, and J.C. Medal. 2010. The effect of Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) herbivory on growth and population density of tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) in Florida. Biocontrol Science and Technology 20: 791-807.

Medal, J., N. Bustamante, W. Overholt, R. Diaz, P. Stansly, A. Roda, D. Amalin, K. Hibbard, R. Gaskalla, B. Sellers, S. Hight, and J. Cuda. 2010. Biological control of tropical soda apple (Solanaceae) in Florida: Post-release evaluation. Florida Entomologist 93: 130-132.

Diaz, R., W.A. Overholt, T.A. Heard, R. Van Klinken, and A. Samayoa. 2010. Life history parameters of Ischnodemus variegatus (Signoret) (Hemiptera: Blissidae) reared on two closely related grasses. Biological Control. 55: 219-224.

Overholt, W.A., R. Diaz, K. Hibbard, A. Roda, D. Amalin, A. Fox, S. Hight, J. Medal, P. Stansly, B. Carlisle, J. Walter, P. Hogue, L. Gary, L. Wiggins, C. Kirby, and S. Crawford. 2009. Releases, distribution and abundance of Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum, Solanaceae) in Florida. Florida Entomologist 92: 450-457.

Overholt, W.A., L. Markle, E. Rosskopf, V. Manrique, J. Albano, E. Cave, and S. Adkins. 2009. The interactions of tropical soda apple mosaic tobamovirus and Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), an introduced biological control agent of tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum). Biological Control 48: 294-300.

Manrique, V., J. Cuda, W. Overholt, and S. Ewe. 2009. Synergistic effect of insect herbivory and plant parasitism on the performance of the invasive tree Schinus terebinthifolius. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 132: 118-125.

Manrique, V., J. Cuda, W. Overholt, and S. Ewe. 2009. Influence of host-plant quality on the performance of Episimus unguiculus, a candidate biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida. Biocontrol 54: 475-484.

Manrique, V., J. Cuda, and W. Overholt. 2009. Effect of herbivory on growth and biomass allocation of Brazilian peppertree (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae) seedlings in the laboratory. Biocontrol Science and Technology 19: 657-667.

Grajczyk, A., D. Williams, W. Overholt, J. Cuda, and S. Brown. 2009. Characterization of microsatellite loci in Hydrilla verticillata. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 1460-1559.

Diaz, R., W. Overholt, J. Cuda, P. Pratt, and A. Fox. 2009. Host specificity of Ischnodemus variegatus, an herbivore of West Indian marsh grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis). Biocontrol 54: 307-321.

Sellers, B.A., R. Diaz, W.A. Overholt, K.A. Langeland, and C.J. Gray. 2008. Control of West Indian marsh grass with glyphosate and imazapyr. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 46: 189-192.

Overholt, W.A., R. Diaz, L. Markle, and J. Medal. 2008. Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) does not feed on Jamaican nightshade Solanum jamaicense (Solanaceae). Florida Entomologist 91: 121-123.

Manrique, V., J.P. Cuda, W.A. Overholt, and R. Diaz. 2008. Temperature-dependent development and potential distribution of Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a candidate biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae) in Florida. Environmental Entomology 37: 862-870.

Manrique, V., J.P. Cuda, W.A. Overholt, D.A. Williams, and G. Wheeler. 2008. Effect of host-plant genotypes on the performance of three candidate biological control agents of Schinus terebinthifolius in Florida. Biological Control 47: 167-171.

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